In a severe blow to both his personal ambitions and the hopes of his team in the overall General Classification, Filippo Ganna has been forced out of the Giro d'Italia ahead of stage eight due to a positive test for Covid-19.
The Italian, riding in his home Grand Tour, would have taken the start of Sunday's stage nine time-trial as one of the favourites for the stage win. What's more, his Ineos Grenadiers team will have been counting on his strength and presence in the peloton to guide their GC hopes – Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart – through some of the tougher stages to come.
“Filippo Ganna will regrettably not line up to contest today’s Stage 8 of the 2023 Giro d’Italia, after testing positive for Covid-19 and displaying mild, flu-like symptoms,” Ineos Grenadiers said in a statement.
“Filippo will now rest and recover fully before resuming his remaining 2023 race programme.”
Ganna has already proved important to his teammates and as the race goes on his role would have become increasingly essential. His absence, although far from ideal, doesn't instantly count Thomas and Geoghegan Hart out of contention for the overall podium, of course.
Both riders are currently in the top 10 and within reach of a top three overall finish. However, with Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic there as well, the two British riders might be riding against each other for the third step after the final stage.
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